Jn. 15:1 – I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
This picture of the grape vine falls in one of the most critical places in all of scripture. God’s revelation of Himself in Christ is coming to a climax. Jesus has just served the Last Supper to His disciples, washed their feet, and is headed toward Gethsemane where the arrest and passion will begin. He has been teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit and how He will change everything. As they pass through a grape vineyard He begins to describe the intimacy that is being brought to them through His death and the outpouring of the Spirit. The Oneness He will pray for in Gethsemane is being described in this passage. We are being brought into the very life of God. Here is how Andrew Murray describes the beauty of this passage.
“All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities–the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God. The Life and the Truth are in Heaven; on earth we have figures and shadows of the heavenly truths. When Jesus says: “I am the true Vine,”
He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself. He is the divine reality, of which they are the created expression. They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him. If you would know Jesus, study the vine. How many eyes have gazed on and admired a great vine with its beautiful fruit? Come and gaze on the heavenly Vine till your eye turns from all else to admire Him. How many, in a sunny climate, sit and rest under the shadow of a vine? Come and be still under the shadow of the true Vine, and rest under it from the heat of the day. What countless numbers rejoice in the fruit of the vine! Come, and take, and eat of the heavenly fruit of the true Vine, and let your soul say: “I sat under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste.”
When I was newly saved I lived in a valley surrounded by grape vineyards. I loved to read this passage again and again, reflecting on the life of God in His people. He is in us and we are in Him. Abiding in Him, depending on Him, brings glory to God and fills our whole being with fullness of joy.